This Friday evening, October 18th 2019, join City Vino as we welcome Horton Vineyards to the shop. Horton will be pouring their 2016 Petit Manseng, which won the top prize in the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Cup, besting the other 500 submitted challengers.
The Virginia Governor’s Cup is one of the most prestigious awards given in Virginia to celebrate wine making. For 2019, there were more than 500 wines submitted, representing 100 Virginia wineries. There are two rounds of judging, and the judges represent seasoned, and well-respected wine experts.
In the preliminary judging round, which is held over a period of ten days, each wine is blindly sampled by seven judges. The judges know the grape variety or category of the wine, but the vintage of the wine and winery name are carefully guarded. The judges’ scores are tallied after dropping the lowest score. The wines with the highest scores move on to the final round.
Each wine in the final round is judged, and again the scores are tallied, with the lowest score dropped. The 12 highest scoring wines become the Governor’s Cup Case wines, with the wine with the overall highest score being dubbed the Governor’s Cup winner. This year, the top scoring wine was Horton Vineyard’s 2016 Petit Manseng. This is not the first time that Horton Vineyards took home the Governor’s Cup. Horton Vineyards 1990 Montdomaine Cabernet Sauvignon won the Governor’s Cup in 1993.
Horton Vineyards was founded in 1989 by Dennis Horton and his business partner Joan Bieda, when they acquired 55 acres in Madison County, Virginia. Dennis Horton was considered a pioneer, innovator, and maverick, in the Virginia wine industry. He had a deep interest in grapes—especially from the Rhône Valley in France—including Viognier which he planted alongside Marsanne; Mourvèdre; Cabernet Franc; Syrah; Virginia’s native grape, Norton; and so many others over the years, including Petit Manseng.